With the recent outbreak of measles on the rise across the country questions about immunization requirements have become a hot topic of debate.
At present no cases of measles have been reported in New Hampshire in this recent outbreak, but how likely is that to change? According to a recent story by WMUR's Josh McElveen, Health officials attribute New Hampshire’s clean health record largely to an immunization rate that is among the highest in the country. (published 2/4/15, www.WMUR.com). The State Department of Health and Human Services, indicates more than 97% of school age children in New Hampshire have received the state required immunizations for diseases ranging from the measles to polio.
So what is the law regarding immunization of children in New Hampshire?
New Hampshire requires mandatory vaccination for children attending School or daycare in New Hampshire, with two permitted exemptions: religious and medical. The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services website www.dhhs.nh.gov details New Hampshire's mandated vaccinations and provides guidance as to the standards for medical and religious exemption.
Medical exemptions are available to parents or legal guardians of a child for whom immunization against a particular disease may be detrimental to the child's health. In order to obtain a medical exemption certificate the parent or legal guardian must acquire written documentation from a licensed physician or authorized healthcare provider that certifies that immunization against a particular disease may be detrimental to the child's health. The exemption shall exist only for the length of time, in the opinion of the physician; such immunization will be detrimental to the child. Moreover, an exemption from immunization for one disease shall not affect other required immunizations. In other words, an inability to undergo one particular type of immunization does not automatically entitle a child to an exemption from all immunizations across the board.